Advanced Television

BBC’s Huggers quits for Intel

January 19, 2011

by Colin Mann

The BBC’s Director of Future Media & Technology, Erik Huggers, is to leave the corporation at the end of February to become Corporate Vice President and General Manager of Intel’s Digital Home Group, based at its Silicon Valley headquarters in California. He replaces interim General Manager Brad Daniels.

BBC Director General Mark Thompson said that since he became Director in August 2008, Huggers had helped to re-establish the BBC’s strength in technology, and as a result changed perceptions of the BBC as an innovator and strengthened its relationship with the public. “During his tenure, BBC Online, BBC Red Button and BBC Mobile have seen exceptional growth, while BBC iPlayer delivered a record 145 million TV and Radio programme views across some 60 devices during December,” said Thompson in a memo to staff.

Hugger’s impending departure has led the Corporation to reorganise the Future Media & Technology area into two more distinct areas – the development of digital services to the public such as BBC iPlayer (Future Media) and the core, underlying technology which powers the BBC (Technology). This has resulted in two of Hugger’s direct-report staff moving up.

As Chief Technology Officer (CTO), John Linwood will head up a new Technology division which will be responsible for delivering the BBC’s digital needs in terms of production, broadcast, connectivity and enterprise support. The division will be part of the Operations Group under the overall leadership of the Chief Operating Officer, Caroline Thomson. As CTO, John will sit on the BBC Direction Group (BDG). Ralph Rivera has also been named as Director of Future Media, a division that will focus on developing and delivering digital products and services.

“Erik Huggers’ proven track record of managing a variety of digital media businesses will be an extraordinary asset to Intel’s digital home initiative,” said Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini. “Erik’s background and vision for delivering new platforms, interactive content and services to consumers are an outstanding fit for Intel,” he added.

Prior to joining the BBC, Huggers was with Microsoft, where he led the global business development for Windows Media Technologies. Before joining Microsoft, Huggers worked with Endemol Entertainment as director of business development for its interactive division.

“I look forward to joining one of the leading technology companies in the world,” said Huggers. “This is a tremendous opportunity to build a new business for silicon, software and services to unlock the potential of high-quality connected media experiences in the living room.”

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